Chapter 1: Let the story begin
Green… that was the words that ran through her head, the world around her was dressed in different color tones from green to earth colors. It was a relaxing, yet exciting feeling that was given to any creature that laid eyes on the thick huddle of trees and plants in this big jungle. Bird and insects kept on making the sounds that made the place buzz with life, something that was comforting for any person that was afraid of being alone in this place. But then again… who wouldn't be afraid of being alone?
This problem, however, was something a little human didn't have to worry about, seeing as the girl stood in the middle of a Camp that was buzzing with activity. The people in the area were busy setting up all the stuff they had brought with them. And staring at the busy people was a pair of large ocean blue eyes. The eyes darted from person to person as a little girl, roughly 7 years old, stood on one single spot patiently waiting for all the busy people to slow down and get some time to maybe play with her or give her some kind of assignment.
Her hair was that of a dark shaded blonde color and her skin was neither pale nor tanned. She wore a greenish jacket with matching shorts and some brown boots that had been given to her as a gift from her father before she had left on this journey. Sadly, her father couldn't come with her and her mother, since her father was on a business trip in France.
His name was Aaron Bennett Campbell, the best father in the world! At least, that was what his daughter thought of him. He as kind, caring and wise, and he were loved by family and friends. He also had a nickname, and it would be used often, only to get him to make a funny face and growl annoyingly. Something that made his daughter and wife start to giggle and laugh for a long time.
He was called, ABC.
A smile tugged on the girls lip in remembering … Her mother had told her that he had been teased at the school they went to when they were small. After the children in his had seen his name written, they noticed the three first letters in his name was also the first three letters in the alphabet. Something that had been, and was still hilarious, was what her mother had told her.
As the girl's thoughts returned to her mother, she turned her head and her eyes around looking for the tall blonde woman, but since every person in the camp wore the same type of clothing, it was hard to locate her.
"Cornelia!" A Voice suddenly called from her left and her head snapped to where the sound came from. "Could you please come over here and help me putting some of the boxes into the tent?" asked her mother that had walked up to the 7-year-old with a light smile on her face. The Girl nodded in excitement at the 31-year-old, now in front of her.
Emilia Campbell. Her mother.
She stood tall with her lighter blonde hair put up in a ponytail at the back of her head and greenish hat hung on her back as a small rope hung around her neck. Her clothing was pretty much the same as Cornelia's, a lime top under a light beige shirt and shorts with tall brown boots. The woman's smile gave away her friendly nature that was well known to her colleagues wandering around them at the moment and all those who knew her.
Cornelia nodded her head at the question, finally she had something to do. It was always fun to help out her mother when she needed help. Reaching out a hand to her daughter, Emilia waited until it was taken with the small hand before she navigated them both over to a load of boxes that was waiting to be brought into a large tent which had been set up earlier.
"What are inside the boxes?" Asked a curious Cornelia as she let go of her mother's hand and picked up one of the smaller packages. Emilia bent down and picked up a bigger sized box before she turned and started walking towards the tent with her daughter right behind her. "Different kinds of equipment that all of mommy's colleagues need while we are here, I thought I told you this already." The woman looked back over her shoulder at the young girl that looked back at her.
"But you never told me you needed this much!" Cornelia complained with a little annoyance in her tone. "Why do you need so many things? You are just going to look at plants!" The girl pointed out as her mother simply smiled back at her. "Yeah, I know sweetie, but maybe some of the plants we find can be used as medicine and help people who are sick." Emilia pointed out as they want inside the tent and gave the boxes to two men that were putting everything in place.
After exiting the tent Cornelia pouted slightly "I know mommy," she looked to the ground before her with a slightly sad expression, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound mean. I just didn't want to carry ALL the boxes!" The girl said extending her arms at the last comment indicating how many there were. "But I need to help out too! So that mommy won't have to do everything alone!" Cornelia said out loud, talking more to herself than her now smiling mother.
Cornelia held her word, and helped out her mother getting every single package into the tent where the two men took over and started setting up some of the equipment that had been inside. "Thanks a lot for helping me Cornelia." Emilia told her daughter and bent down to give her daughter a hug before she looked up on her wristwatch. Time had passed rather quickly and it was now 4.37 pm. Two hours had gone by since the camp had started setting up, and things seem to finally be in place.
"Let's take a break, sweetie. And maybe we could look around the area together with some of my colleges later when they are free." The blonde woman looked at her daughter which smiled in return, "Yeah!" The kid's eyes suddenly lost its light and she looked suspicious at her mother, "But only if Henry doesn't come."
Emilia had to hold her hand in front of her mouth to keep her laughter from spilling out. Henry was one of her co-workers who didn't seem to like Cornelia, or any other children for that matter. He seemed annoyed every time he had laid eyes on her daughter… a reminder that he was stuck out in the jungle with a kid who seemed to be torturing him by simply existing.
Henry Patterson was one of the people that protested the most when he had been told a 7-year-old would accompany them on this trip. While others was concerned of her safety in the wilderness, Henry was certain that she would get in the way or ruin the trip, one way or another. Even though Emilia had told him several times that Cornelia was a clever girl and had been told what she was not allowed to do in the time they were camped here.
The ground rules for Cornelia to follow was simple and easy to remember, but important none the less…
She had to stay at the camp site at all times, unless she was followed by someone that her mother trusted, or to ever eat any of the food she found there, it could be poisonous and deadly. At night and in the evening when the sun was gone, Cornelia had to stay inside one of the tents. Nobody knew what could be hiding in the dark.
Emilia's head shoot up in suddenly remembering something she had long forgotten in the confusion of setting camp. She looked at her daughter who was waiting patiently for her mother to answer her question.
"Ah… No I don't think Henry will be coming," she quickly replied before continuing, "But I suddenly remembered that I got something for you before we left the airport…" The woman hinted to her daughter who lit up like a candle light. "You did!? Thank you mommy! Can I see it, can I see it?" Cornelia asked jumping up and down with excitement.
Her mother nodded before she stood up and started walking, heading for the women's sleeping quarter where their entire personal luggage laid. Cornelia was skipping happily after her mother as they entered the tent and Emilia stopped in front of her bag as she started searching through it. Her daughter was now standing behind her trying to look over the woman's shoulder impatiently.
Finally her mother stopped and pulled out a small box which she looked at once before handing it to Cornelia, who gladly took it and started studying it. The box was about 15 x 7 centimeters with a height at about 5 cm. With big eyes the girl looked up at her mother, "Can I open it?"
Emilia smiled softly at her daughter, "Yes sweetie, go ahead." At her approval, Cornelia opened the box and peeked inside. Smiling, the girl put her tiny hand into it and pulled up a small flute. It was roughly 10 cm long and had a gold-like color, with a circle going around it at the middle and something that would look like leaves was carved into it, following the circle. In the end of the flute was a thin rope tied to a tip that stood out and Cornelia realized it could be used as a necklace.
Seeing that her daughter liked her gift, she decided to tell her the reason for buying this for her. "Cornelia." Her mother called softly to get her attention. When the girl looked up from her present she jumped at her mother giving her a tight hug. "Thank you, mommy! I'll treasure it!"
The woman hugged her back and grabbed her attention again as they let each other go. "Now, Cornelia sweetie, I need you to listen well to what I have to say." she said, and the girl stood up straight staring intently at her mother to show her she was paying attention. "I bought you this flute in case something would happen, I'm not saying something will, but it's better to be safe than sorry…" she explained slowly. "You are to keep this with you at all time, and you only use it if it's an emergency. If you get separated from us or you see a wild animal near the camp, you'll use it."
Cornelia nodded forcefully with a serious expression that most people would be surprised to see on a 7-year-old. "Understood! Only for emergencies!" The girl repeated and saluted to her mother, just like the way she had observed from a cartoon she had seen once.
The mother simply stared at her daughter with a sad smile at her lips as she pulled Cornelia into another hug. "God forbid something should ever happen to you…" she whispered softly into her daughter's hair before letting her go. "Now, how about we see how this looks on you." She took the flute as her girl turned around, lifting up her hair from her neck, so that Emilia could tie it for her.
"There!" The woman let the rope fall onto her daughter's neck as she let her hair go and turned to her mother with a smile. "How do I look?" Cornelia asked in a playful manner. "You look absolutely beautiful my dear." She leaned in and lightly kissed her little forehead, "Just like always…"
Cornelia blushed slightly as she smiled back at her mother. "I'm going to show this to everyone! Even Henry! And when he sees it, he'll be soooooo jealous!" The girl exploded with excitement and was about to run out of the tent, but she stopped up and ran back to her mother dragging a giggling Emilia with her.
To be continued…